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Jacques Lacan and Tragic Drama in the Golden Age of Spain

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Chapter Summary

The author scrutinizes Aristotelian preoccupations via a Lacanian lens as these apply directly to Spanish tragic drama of the Golden Age. They include the basic issue of character and the idiosyncratic portrayal of subjectivity in Spain. Standing apart from contemporaneous practice in England and France, profound inwardness of character was less important in Spain than the complexity of the social field of forces and imperatives that defined or hindered a given character's scope of action. Indwelling ethos in the case of Spain may therefore be better intuited, to paraphrase Aristotle, from the personage's praxis. He also shows how the theories of Jacques Lacan dovetail in surprisingly fruitful fashion with the Greek philosopher's 4th-century observations on ancient audience response. Both illuminate that complex traffic in human emotions across theater which tantalizingly seems to defy elucidation in the case of Spain even today.

Keywords: Aristotle; Golden Age; Jacques Lacan; Spanish tragic drama



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